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Bishop Holston visits churches after flooding.

“The answer to an unprecedented weather event in South Carolina causing extensive flooding across the state is an unprecedented relief and recovery effort,” Bishop Jonathan Holston said. Holston recently visited churches in the Columbia, Greenwood and Walterboro districts recovering from the flood and witnessed firsthand the great need in the communities and the great outpouring of support.

At St. Paul UMC in Saluda Rev. Bart Sistare said, “The flood was like being hit in the face, it was just shocking.” Flood waters damaged several rooms at St. Paul including the choir room, basement, classrooms and offices. “The church has begun to rebound and rally, so much so that we’ve begun a fund raiser, not for us, but for flood relief across the state.” said Sistare.

“We have seen relief and recovery efforts offered by the South Carolina Conference Disaster Response Team, our Early Response Teams, United Methodist Committee on Relief, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, pastors, laity, volunteers, neighbors and strangers.” Trenholm Road United Methodist in Columbia, led by Rev. Mike Smith and associate pastor Rev. Zach Dillard provided immediate relief in their community with items like water, food, diapers, and cleaning supplies sent by other churches. The church itself has experienced some significant damage.

Also in the Columbia district, Mill Creek United Methodist and McLeod United Methodist churches, pastored by Rev. Shay Long, both experienced flooding. Church members joined with a neighboring Baptist church to provide the community with UMCOR cleaning buckets and other supplies.

An Early Response Team assisted Canaan United Methodist Church and Rev. Jack Washington in cleaning out their flooded sanctuary. Pews and carpet had to be removed, and mold issues will be addressed as the church dries out.

“We are a connectional church and the evidence that we’re not alone is seen in the tremendous response to our needs,” Bishop Holston said. “As the waters continue to subside around the state, I am grateful for the evidence of God’s faithfulness in the midst of loss and destruction.”


Bishop Holston meets with members of St. Paul in Saluda


Bishop Holston helps Rev. Long and children of Mill Creek and McLeod UMC deliver cleaning buckets


Bishop Holston prays Rev. Long and children of McLeod UMC after flooding.



Flood damage at Trenholm Rd. UMC


Bishop Holston meets with Rev Mike Smith and Rev. Zachary Dillard at Trenholm Rd. UMC after flooding damaged the church


Flooding damage at Canaan UMC


Flooding damage at Canaan UMC


Water still an issue as ERT volunteers help to remove pews from Canaan UMC


Bishop Holston meets with ERT leaders during clean up.


Bishop Holston meets with ERT volunteers, Rev. Washington and Rev. Pearson at Canaan UMC

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